REVIEW: Gone Fishing by Bruno Augsburger
by Ameer Khan
Gone Fishing opens with a copy of Bruno Augsburger's email response to his publishers concerning his book project. Augsburger's composition is short and concise with sentences that are no longer than two words stating that he has "gone fishing" "back later." However, if one inspects the book closely enough, a small section of text in the back of the book leaves us with the only information that we are provided. The photos within the book were taken the past 20 years on various fishing trips.
It is clear Augsburger was keen on immersing himself in a more natural state through fishing rather than communicating through an artificial channel due to the syntax of his email. Keeping in line with this approach, the curation of the books follows a similar direction posed in the email. Images selected are not accompanied by any sort of text, titles, dates, or context unlike humanity's constant need to tag subjects to understand them from a human perspective. Images aren't artificially curated to be neatly organized as the subject matter on each page tends to change entropically yet cohesively, making it quite organic and in tangent with the natural world. Color is juxtaposed against monochrome, the subject of his photos often switching between humans, fish, and landscapes, color schemes are abruptly changed, and the size of photos vary from page to page.
The contrasting intensity of color within the photos were really prominent to me as muted landscapes would be followed by the bright, intense color of salmon flesh. The photos are dramatized as the distinction between the subdued and vibrant images become much more striking to my eyes. It is clearly reminiscent of the immense amounts of diversity through all biomes. Through these choices, Augsburger harmoniously joins Gone Fishing with the natural world.
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